Monday, December 2, 2013

Another Christmas Season Has Arrived!

Is it just me, or are the years really passing faster and faster? It seems that the world is revolving faster than it used to - though scientists say it's only milliseconds a year.  Nevertheless, the Christmas season is already upon us once again!

When I saw the temple engineers putting up the Christmas decorations on the temple grounds a few days ago, I had to stop and remind myself that summer is indeed over and so is fall. We have had beautiful weather this year. No complaints! In southern England, there are still a few brilliantly colored trees whose leaves haven't fallen yet, and the grass stays green all year long, but the weather has definitely turned colder. They say we will have snow next week -- and that's quite unusual this early in the winter. Lucky for us, we had our annual Christmas Lighting Ceremony last night - and the weather cooperated. We're so grateful!

With many thanks to the temple engineers and gardeners, Grant & Emma Neale, Don, David Bridgstock, and the Visitors' Centre sisters, the London Temple Visitors' Centre welcomed in the Christmas season last night!

The engineers began assembling our nativity creche on Wednesday

Thursday Joseph and Mary returned.

A short homecoming journey.

There may not have been room in the inn, but there is
room at the London Temple Visitors' Centre....

The best engineers and gardeners ever!

Sister Ylisaari and Emma Neale begin their magic on our tree.

Sister Ylissari with Sister Walmsley .

Amy was here to help with the garlands.

Amy, Emma, Sister McLaws and Sister Namutamba
working in our theatre.

With the decorating finished, we focused on the outdoor programme (or program) for Sunday night.

David Bridgstock was so kind to set up
his personal sound system for us.

A reception was held for our VIP's: our good friend Kenneth Harwood of the local
Tandridge District Council, our new temple presidency and their wives,
our mission president and his wife, our senior missionaries,
and Elder Chris Charles of the Seventy and his wife.

Don with Kenneth Harwood, a wonderful friend of the Church
here in Southern England.

A crowd of more than 400 people gathered to wait for the lighting.

The program included remarks from a few dignitaries and some beautiful
Christmas music from the Hyde Park Britannia Ward Young Single Adult Choir.

Don conducted the programme.

The countdown. 10-9-8-7-6...

Let there be lights!

The sweet view from the Visitors' Centre at night.

Lights greeting the cars that enter the temple gates.

Many people stayed around for a jam-packed Christmas Carol sing-along
in our Visitors' Centre theatre following the lighting ceremony.  Our sister
missionaries circulated with 8 huge trays of brownies, shortbread, and
Christmas candy. People were glad to come in and get warm!

It was a beautiful evening and a great way to begin the Christmas season! Now we are looking forward to all the programmes coming up at the Visitors' Centre during the next several weeks.

Please excuse this hastily prepared .jpg of our December Advent Calendar for the
London Temple Visitors' Centre. For further information, visit LDS.ORG.

Let the Christmas Spirit begin!                                 ~Pat~

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